I am involved in voluntary blood donation for more than 20 years. I have visited thousands of voluntary blood donation camps and I often face a common question like how many times I have donated blood. This is obvious as many donors keep record for receiving awards from different organizations as highest donor.
Even if I am donating blood in every 3 to 4 months, till date I do not know how many times I have donated.
As a blood donor till date I have not received any award, because I am happy to give and in return don’t expect any award in return. I ask them a counter question.
Have you ever visited to any religious places like temples, churches or mosques? If yes, then do you count the number of coconuts or bananas you donate in the temple, or number of candles you donate in the church or number of blankets you donate in mosques? And I am sure, it will be very difficult to answer. The question is if I donot remember that why should I remember the number of times I donated blood?
For me donating blood is as heavenly as donating anything to Almighty and I prefer not to keep any record for this service to mankind through which I indirectly serve God. Similarly, once you are a member of the Red Cross, you should be happy to give or serve without expecting anything in return.After formation of the Police Commissionerate in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack city in January 2008, in the same year in the month of October the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS), the Police Commissionerate regional branch started.
The then Police Commissioner Bijaya Kumar Sharma and the then Honorary Secretary of IRCS, Odisha State Branch(OSB) Rabiratna Das had a key role to build this branch. As a Police Red Cross it is the first Branch in India. This branch maintains its goodwill till today.
This organisation believes in giving and serving. This unit of Red Cross is happy to serve every year and do the programmes like blood donation camps, plantation drive, free health check-up camp, police-public friendship, marathon and awareness programmes. After that the Police Commissionerate Red Cross is happy to give financial assistances to the needy. If we will discuss about the year 2020, the Police Commissionerate Red Cross has done a noble thing in the field of voluntary blood donation. In the year 2020 the whole world was sick.
There was a great fear of Corona virus all around the world. In India, specifically in Odisha, from March 2nd week everything was stopped and everybody spent their livelihood as a home prisoner. To escape from Corona disease many norms like social distancing and wearing of masks were made compulsory. During that time, it was very difficult to organise any voluntary blood donation camp, and on the other hand, blood was required for normal patients and plasma was required for Covid patients.
But the Police Commissionerate took this as a challenge and organized 108 camps and collected 4,043 units of blood which were donated to different blood banks of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar.
This organisation also donated more than 100 units of plasma for Covid patients. Further, today this Red Cross will give 104 awards to different organisation and individuals. Recently in the month of October 2020, the Indian Red Cross Society, national headquarters, organised the Annual General Body Meeting (AGM). The Odisha State Red Cross Branch got first prize in fund raising and membership for the years 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 and for voluntary blood donation for the years 2016-17 and 2017-18. Gujarat got the first prize for the year 2018-19 in voluntary blood donation. If we will analyse these awards then we will be able to know how Odisha State Red Cross is happy to receive but not to give.
(The writer is Life Member, Indian Red Cross Society, Ph: 8984007600)